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BEDC, Others Sign MoU on Mini-grid Project

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power
  • BEDC, Others Sign MoU on Mini-grid Project

The Benin Electricity Distribution Company Plc has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a United States firm, Rocky Mountain Institute, and Rubitec Nigeria Limited to provide mini-grid electricity for customers.

The power firm, in a statement on Friday, described the initiative as a bold step towards connecting communities in its franchise states without electricity supply.

It said the tripartite MoU was agreed by the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, BEDC, Mrs Funke Osibodu; Rubitec CEO, Mr Bolade Soremekun, and RMI Manager, Mr James Sherwood, at the BEDC head office in Benin on Wednesday.

According to the statement, the BEDC is expected to facilitate the choice of location for mini-grid solar power; Rubitec is expected to construct solar mini-grid facilities within the BEDC’s licensed area of coverage, while RMI will provide expertise in developing renewable electrical solutions and advise on the implementation of a pilot mini-grid in the chosen location.

Osibodu said the initiative was aimed at bridging the service gaps for areas within the company’s network, with an existing but poorly supplied or non-functional distribution system, or those without an existing distribution system.

While expressing delight with the partners based on their pedigree, she stated that the mini-grid initiative was also necessary to reduce the dependence on the Transmission Company of Nigeria for power supply to customers.

Osibodu said one community in Edo State would be used as a pilot for the project before it would be extended to other locations.

According to her, the project will entail an interconnected mini-grid, using the BEDC distribution lines in the selected locations to distribute solar power to the residents in the communities, who are also expected to sign contract agreements with the suppliers.

She said the agreement would be completed after the joint visitation by a combined team of BEDC staff and officials of the partnering firms to assess the situation on ground at the locations and determine the feasibility and commencement date of the project.

Soremekun, on his part, stated, “Rubitec is very happy to sign this MoU to partner BEDC and RMI to bring solar mini-grid electricity to communities within the franchise area, who are un-served or underserved.

“Collectively, Rubitec and our partners are proud to execute the pilot project to provide more knowledge and insight to the interconnected mini-grid space so as to enable more rapid scaling of the concept and model all over Nigeria.”

On his part, Sherwood said RMI was excited to support the BEDC and Rubitec in the effort, adding that the firm “sees this as a tremendous opportunity to test a new model for delivering clean, reliable, and affordable power to customers.”

“This will build on the mini-grid implementation work already being done by the Rural Electrification Agency and others across Nigeria, and can directly support the development of local economies, while providing insight that will benefit the entire industry,” he added.

According to the statement, while Edo State is the pilot take-off point, other proposed and feasible locations are being explored for pilot take-off in Ondo, Delta and Ekiti states, which are within the BEDC franchise areas.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Business

Businesses Groan as Price of Diesel Rises to N250 Per Litre

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Petrol Importation

Businesses Groan as Price of Diesel Rises to N250 Per Litre

Businesses have started feeling the negative impact of the rising price of Automotive Gas Oil, known as diesel.

A single litre now goes for N250 in some parts of Lagos, with businesses taking a beating on the back of rising energy costs.

Our correspondent observed that some filling stations in Lagos had increased the price of the product to N250 per litre, while many others sold it at between N220-N245.

Northwest Petroleum along the Oshodi-Apapa road increased the pump price of diesel to N250 per litre; AP (Ardova Plc), along Airport road, Ikeja, N248; and Oando, along Acme Road, N240.

The National Bureau of Statistics, in its AGO price report on Tuesday, said the average price paid by consumers for diesel increased by 0.22 per cent to N224.86 per litre in January 2021 from to N224.37 in December 2020.

It said states with the highest average price of diesel were Adamawa (N268.33), Zamfara (N262.78) and Kebbi (N257.50).

“States with the lowest average price of diesel were Osun (N194.60), Anambra (N195.83) and Enugu (N198.24),” the NBS added.

Crude oil price accounts for a large chunk of the final cost of petroleum products, and the deregulation of the downstream oil sector by the Federal Government means that the pump prices of the products will reflect changes in the international oil market.

The international oil benchmark, Brent crude, has risen by more than 25 per cent this year from the $51.22 per barrel at which it closed last year. It rose to $65.25 per barrel as of 6:30pm Nigerian time on Tuesday.

Diesel is mostly used by businesses to power their generators amid a lack of reliable power supply from the national grid.

The President, Association of Small Business Owners of Nigeria, Mr Femi Egbesola, lamented that the recent increase in the price of diesel was taking a heavy toll on businesses, especially Small and Medium Enterprises.

“The cost of diesel and raw material is giving us a nightmare. The price of diesel has been skyrocketing in a way that creates fear in particularly manufacturers,” he told our correspondent on Tuesday.

According to him, it is difficult for businesses to factor all the increase in diesel price in their final product prices.

Egbesola said, “That is why a lot of companies are downsizing and are making sure that they only produce products that they are so sure will sell in the market.

“Many companies have reduced their product lines significantly just to be able to cope. And that is not good for us because by the time this goes on, unemployment will increase. I believe government should be able to do something about this.”

He said although the downstream petroleum sector had been deregulated, there should be checks and balances.

Egbesola said many small businesses’ savings had been eroded already because ‘we keep spending our savings to make sure we don’t close shop’.

He said, “If things continue this way, there is no way we are not going to close shop. We are still struggling with the recent increase in electricity tariff.

“Many small businesses still depend so much on diesel generators because there is no alternative power supply. It is only the big players that have the facilities to use gas. And we cannot use solar installation because it is very expensive.”

Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, relies largely on importation for petrol and other refined products as its refineries have remained in a state of disrepair for many years.

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Appointments

United Capital Appoints Latunji Head, Marketing/Corporate Communications

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United-capital

United Capital Appoints Latunji Head, Marketing/Corporate Communications

United Capital Plc has been appointed, Tolu Latunji as its Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications.

In the new role, he is expected to drive a strategic communications, marketing and brand management programme for the investment banking group.

Latunji is a communication and marketing expert with 12 years’ experience in products development, marketing, brand & franchise building, effective management and communication of strategic objectives whilst ensuring adequate visibility for both organisation and product/service offerings through product, content and brand initiatives.

“With a 360 degree knowledge of communications and marketing, which includes but not limited to – brand management and initiatives, corporate affairs, internal and external affairs, product and brand marketing, event management and experiential marketing, cluster/segment marketing, Tolu has served at various capacities on government constituted sub-committees on financial inclusion,” a statement explained.

Prior to joining United Capital Plc, he was the Managing Partner of Ten & Square Media Co., a bespoke creative ideation and brand/crisis management firm, based in Lagos, Dakar and London.

Latunji was recently the Strategic Communications lead at FMDQ Securities Exchange, Nigeria’s first integrated financial market infrastructure (FMI), where he had the responsibility of effectively positioning the group, together with its subsidiaries, as the most sophisticated and technologically driven securities exchange in Africa.

Prior to that, he worked in Guaranty Trust Bank for nine years with roles in brand management & monitoring, events and experiential marketing, products and content marketing and user experience.

He led the marketing team to the successful development and launch of various retail, SME and corporate products. He was also instrumental in curating and developing the bank’s social footprints. Outside the corporate environment, Tolu engages in various humanitarian activities with food banks and empowerment programmes. He holds a B.Sc. Economics from University of Lagos.

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Business

Firm to Train 100 Nigerians in Solar Installation

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300MW Solar energy

Firm to Train 100 Nigerians in Solar Installation

A learning institute, GreCo Academy is seeking to train 100 Nigerians on solar installation in Nigeria.

The trainees are expected to undergo a 90- day intensive vocational training after which successful candidates will be rewarded with a three-month paid internship with a renowned Renewable Energy Company in Nigeria, according to a statement by the firm.

The training will consist of 80 days virtual engagement and 10 days physical engagement.

This initiative, according to the firm is aimed at giving the trained candidates hands-on practical experience in their journey to becoming professional solar installers in the country.

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